TOLEDO, Ohio — As COVID-19 numbers have continued to surge recently, concerns have been raised about the safety of inmates and staff at the Toledo Correctional Institution.
According to data released by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections on Saturday, 28 inmates at the prison are in quarantine with an additional 31 currently testing positive for the disease.
The prison houses approximately 1000 inmates.
Toledo Correctional Institution staff are also being affected by COVID-19. The same report says that 83 staff members have been sick with the coronavirus this year, with 48 currently testing positive.
The report does not say if inmates or faculty caught the virus at the prison.
Still, this doesn't sit well with Chazidy Bowman, whose husband is serving time at Toledo Correctional.
"I am deeply concerned for the safety of my husband," said Bowman. "Lives lay in the balance. I'm concerned for all of them as well as staff."
Robinson believes prison officials at Toledo Correctional can do more to keep inmates and staff safe from COVID-19.
She believes prison officials haven't been forthcoming about the problems they have in dealing with the pandemic.
"I think TOCI/ODRC officials should one be transparent about what is really happening in the facilities. Stop allowing them to attend recreation and chow hall together," said Bowman.
Bowman isn’t alone, relatives of inmates have been expressing frustration with conditions inside the state’s prisons since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction website however, a number of policies are being implemented to keep prison staff and inmates safe.
These include quarantining individuals to help control spread, the suspension of the Medical Co-Pay for prisoners with flu-like symptoms, suspension of unnecessary transfers and increased sanitation. ODRC says they are following guidelines set out by the Ohio Department of Health in their treatment of those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
WTOL 11 reached out to Toledo Correctional Institution but have not yet heard back.